Friday, July 1, 2011

Minerals for Healthy Hair, Skin, Teeth and Nails

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

There are several choice minerals with beautifying properties. Silica could be considered the most important of all of these. At the herb shop, we often get told by the mothers of Mormon missionaries that their sons are losing their hair, and asked if there is anything that can be done about it. It is fairly obvious that these individuals are stressed out, usually in a foreign country speaking a language they don't know very well. Combined with all other pressures, this seems to be enough to get a 21 year old adult to start balding. Our preferred solution is, of course, lowering the stress levels.

This isn't always going to happen, though. And in the case of the missionaries, they don't have control over what they can eat (minerals in the diet are important with this). So we usually lean towards an organically bound source of silica, such as that found in horsetail, oatstraw, or the herbal calcium formula. This type of therapy seems to work best if you catch the baldness in the beginning stages. We have had people report back that the balding has halted or sometimes reversed. I would say that it only has a mediocre success rate, but often enough that I let people know about it. When it comes to baldness, massaging the scalp for 30 minutes a day has the highest success rate.

There are several other things that may be done nutritionally so that the hair isn't jeopardized. The missionaries are living meagerly off of processed noodles every day. In these instances, some superfoods can do wonders. Nutritional yeast has many B vitamins in it (which assist the nerves managing stress), as well as zinc and other minerals. 1-2 tablespoons of this daily over the denatured food has been enough for some to halt graying, and sometimes hair loss.

The silica can also give superior results with dental health. A few of Dr. Christopher's students once complained to him that his Herbal Calcium formula didn't work. They had been drinking it diligently, and their fillings were falling out! Dr. Christopher told them to look closer, and sure enough, the teeth were regenerating and kicking out the fillings. So far, I've only known two people that have managed to kick out their dental amalgams this way.(1) I did also know a third person who kicked out her silver fillings while using black walnut. Black walnut has a decent amount of silica in it as well, but I have never heard of anyone else healing their teeth with it.

There have been several instances in which I have felt cavities coming on that I have successfully warded off with nettle tea. Nettles are ridiculously loaded with calcium, as well as good amounts of silica and other trace minerals. These trace minerals are incredibly important, so important that isolated calcium supplements can be ineffective without them. When it has been obvious that my body was hurting for lack of these nutrients, I have taken a strong nettle tea made with 2 tablespoons of the leaf. This supposedly provides around 2,000 mg of calcium (what would be considered to be a full adult dose for many). By doing this and avoiding all concentrated sweets (including fruits), I have had tooth pain go away in 1-3 days by catching it in the early stages. To be fair, nettles can stain the teeth a dark color if you drink the tea consistently. This can be avoided by rinsing or brushing afterwords.

Silica is found in alfalfa, beets, brown rice, rice bran, oats, bell peppers, soybeans, leafy green vegetables and whole grains.

Zinc is also a very useful mineral, particularly for the nails. If they ever develop vertical, black lines heading towards the tip of the nail, these can be removed in a few days by eating zinc rich foods. Some of the best sources would be chocolate, nutritional yeast, black-eyed peas and nuts and seeds, especially sesame, peanuts, cashews and pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds are especially useful for male health. The testes don't function well if there is a zinc deficiency. Not only are pumpkin seeds high in zinc, they also offer some nutritional support for the prostate as well. It is one of the better foods of choice for men.

Sulfur is another beautifying mineral. Sulfur deficiency is rarely a problem, given that it is the fourth most common mineral in the body. Some people will still supplement with it anyway, and I have friends who use MSM (a sulfur supplement) and swear by the good it does them. Regardless of whether or not your worried about deficiency, sulfur rich foods still have beneficial properties for the hair, skin and nails. Some foods containing sulfur are brussels sprouts, dried beans, cabbage, garlic, onions, soybeans and wheat germ. In short, eating whole foods will not only make it easier to feel good, but look good as well!

1. Dr. Christopher enjoyed some success with dental problems, particularly pyorrhea. Those looking for highly successful natural remedies with serious dental problems (such as abscesses) would do well to investigate the work of Dr. Weston Price. Unlike Dr. Christopher, Dr. Price advocated the use of animal product for therapeutic value. He had a very high success rate with his program reversing cavities and abscesses. He wrote an excellent book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration that contains his discoveries as he traveled the globe studying cultures with the healthiest teeth.

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NOTICE: All information in this newsletter is given out as information only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.